It's Tuesday Morning. The house is quiet. The 8 year old has gone to school... my lovely and amazing wife was gone to work... the coffee is brewing.. and I'm intentionally trying to just .. stop.
Our Student Ministry is currently in a series called "Jesus In His Own Words." We're learning what it means to TRULY be a follower of Jesus. How we're supposed to act. How we're supposed to treat people. Last week we heard about how Matthew, the tax collector.. (the unwanted, the despised, the cast aside, the hated) .. was called by Jesus. He was WANTED by Jesus. Then we learned that Matthew, after meeting Jesus.. didn't bring people to Jesus.. but rather.. brought Jesus to his people.
Read that again.. Or.. I'll just type that again.. he brought Jesus to HIS people. And Jesus hung out with them. Despite what society was saying. Despite what the "holy" people were saying.
This week, we're learning about Jesus' interaction with the woman caught in adultery. We'll be learning what we can take away from that.. and how we can respond when we're caught in the middle of the world and God's love. ..
But for me.. the words that are ringing in my ears this morning...
"My yoke is easy.. my burden is light."
While the "weight of the world" is on my shoulders...(or at least .. it feels like it..) .. this morning.. I'm happy to transfer that weight (the weight of worry, stress, fear, doubt...) .. and gladly take HIS weight.. HIS yoke...
I know it doesn't mean it's gonna be easy.. but it is gonna be a whole lot lighter.
question: ... what are you worrying about. what are some concerns you are having. Feel free to comment below.. or even private message me. I'd love to join with you.. pray with you.. for you..
Whatever the worry is.. whatever the concern, the stress, the fear, the doubt.. You're not alone.
When my cousin was growing up.. .he aspired to be a garbage truck man. I can remember, in the summer, he would wake up early as the truck rumbled down the street.. throw on a pair of rubber boots, a pair of work gloves, safety glasses (safety first!) and go and help the garbage man (sorry... sanitation engineer) remove the waste from our house...
Now, he works for Hydro One. He still wears gloves, boots and safety glasses... but the job isn't quite as smelly.
We all had dreams as kids.. we still have dreams. Goals. Visions. Aspirations.
Wanting a certain gaming system, NERF gun, or that amazing hamburger from a certain place isn't vision. That's called desire.
Setting educational goals, career dreams, personal life goals.. THAT's vision... and it's important to have. It's actually necessary to have in life..
Last night, we heard/read about Jacob.. (from Genesis 30).. a man that reprogrammed the mating habits of sheep in order to be successful. A man that didn't let a crooked father-in-law get the best of him. A man came out on top because he had aspirations.. goals.. dreams.. .. vision.
If we .. as Christians.. want to be successful..
we MUST start to .. (and continue to) reprogram our hearts and minds to be like Christ...
It's in what we listen to and watch.
It's who we surround ourselves with.
Jacob made sure that the weak and sick sheep weren't around his... infecting them, causing them to become sick. He surround himself (and his sheep) with strong, determined and healthy sheep.
Who are YOU surrounding yourself with?? Ever have that one student in a school project that did nothing a all.. but still wanted the same mark..?
Don't be that person.. and don't surround yourself with those people.
THAT is why I firmly believe that Small Groups are a vital part of SCF:youth. It's in that community.. it's in that circle.. that we can find strength!!
Here's the thing.. our goals, dreams and aspirations can be fantastic. But.. as Christians.. they will all mean nothing if Jesus isn't the FIRST thing we look at. If Jesus isn't our vision.. if we don't keep our eyes, our focus, our hearts on Him.. than all our goals mean nothing. He MUST be the filter that we look through as we look to our goals.
Here's a challenge today for you...
* what do you want to become? what do you want to accomplish? what is the "i've made it" place for you?? Write it down somewhere where you can see it EVERY DAY!!
* Do you fully trust Jesus? With EVERYTHING? I'm not talking about "yes, I believe.." but.. I trust him that he'll provide, he'll protect, he'll listen, he's there... etc, etc.. Do you trust?? If not.. will you?
part 2: the umbrella
so, in the first part of this blog series "the significance of" i shared why I was drawn to the idea of a "speech bubble" as a logo for our student ministry... if you haven't read that blog post yet, i want to encourage you to go back and read it.. HERE.
this week, i wanted to share why i'm drawn to another logo that you may be seen around.. "the umbrella."
let's stop and think for a moment. what exactly IS an umbrella. (side note: it is NOT a form of a parachute. if you have watched Mary Poppins.. and tried the same trick she did.. don't. you won't have the same results. #sharingforafriend)
an umbrella is a covering. a form of protection. an instant safe place.
an umbrella is used in the obvious times of wind, rain, storms.
an umbrella is also used in the fun times (.. think: beach. sun. surf. sand. shade.)
so the question may be being asked.. "why are you thinking of an umbrella when you think of SCF:youth, andy?"
part 1: the speech bubble
when i started here back in march, there were a few things I wanted to do right away. i wanted to have a fresh start; and i wanted our student ministry to have a fresh start, a fresh look, a fresh feel.
the ministry of the past; the past youth pastors and leaders, did a phenomenal job. they have worked well at bringing the ministry to the place it was at. and while I honour and respect the past, it's important to look ahead, move forward and begin to take steps.
among the changes i implemented (ie: name change, where we met, etc), i also immediately introduced a new logo. - a "speech bubble." why did I do that?
so, i've been thinking for some time now.. "i should start a blog.."
i think to think that i have some good ideas from time to time... and what better way to jot them down and share them then in a blog...
but i didn't want to just blurb about nothing; i wanted there to be purpose. i wanted to be inspirational. i wanted my 'random thoughts at 2 am' to have meaning, depth, and to be able to impact someone's life.
more specifically.. yours. yes.. i'm writing to you...
the student of SCF:youth
the parent of SCF:youth
the leader of SCF:youth
and any other person that has stumbled on this page..
and so, this intro post, i'll admit, won't be incredibly inspiring or informative.. but i do want to do this. i want to lay out the goals, the purpose, possibly some examples of what you'll find in the coming days, weeks and months on this blog.